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Intra-Workout Nutrients

Nutrient Timing breaks the day down into three phases: energy phase, anabolic phase, and growth phase.

The energy phase is when you need fuel during a workout: Your body’s acute hormonal response to weight training is increased GH, IGF-1, and testosterone se-cretion, but not all anabolic hormones are abundantly increased; insulin concentrations are reduced, and increased skeletal blood flow occurs.

When you exercise, the following acute catabolic effects take place: in-creased cortisol levels, decreased net protein balance, depleted glycogen, depleted insulin, and increased metabolic rate.The idea is to counteract these effects but maximize the anabolic ones.

This can be aided by consuming a sports drink that contains branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) during your workout. BCAAs have also been shown to reduce fatigue in hard-training anaerobic athletes—that is, the bodybuilder. It has also been noted that leucine may be the most critical BCAA because of its anti-catabolic properties and vital role in protein synthesis.

Supplementation with BCAAs has huge implications for performance, which indirectly aids in the acquisition of hypertrophy. Countless other studies confirm the effectiveness of BCAAs.

Post-Workout Nutrients

The anabolic phase lasts up to 90 minutes post workout. This is when your muscle cells are ready to grow; if your muscles are fed with the right nutrients post workout, abundant muscle growth will take place; if they are not, catabolism will be magnified and prolonged—not a good thing!

Insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance peaks post workout, so up to 2 grams of carbohydrate per kilo of bodyweight and 0.5 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight can be consumed.

This means for a 220-pound (100 kg) bodybuilder, this would be 100 × 2 = 200 grams of carbohy-drates, and 100 × 0.5 = 50 grams of protein.

This would look like 200 grams of carbohydrates + 50 grams of protein = 250 grams, and 250 grams × 4 calories = 1,000 calories.

This is a great number of calories and carbohydrates, so when you employ this strategy, carbohydrates will need to be re-duced throughout the rest of the day. This recom-mendation is on the extreme high end.

Obviously, when cutting weight, it is important to pay atten-tion to calories in versus calories out.

What about the Rest of the Day?

A couple of hours after the completion of train-ing, while the anabolic window is not wide open, carbohydrates do not need to be consumed to ex-cess because of the intra-workout and post-work-out consumption of fast-acting carbs.

A majority of glycogen stores are restored. Throughout the rest of the day, a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ra-tio can be consumed, along with complex carbs with a lower glycemic index (GI) rating.


Here are some final guidelines:

1. Never experiment with new or unusual (for you) foods as a show approaches. If you do, you may discover a food that does not agree with you at the worst possible time. Instead, stick with familiar foods that work well for you. As stated earlier, low-glycemic carbs are best, exceptions being intra workout and immediately post workout.

2. Don’t try to fix things in the short term. If you have excessive body fat, you will not magically become lean by popping a diuretic. It’s what you eat over the long term that really counts.

3. Take pride in developing a personal discipline when it comes to nutrition. Many, many recreational bodybuilders are highly disciplined when it comes to training but poorly disciplined in terms of nutrition.

One facet of this discipline involves meal planning. Little is written about the fact that to eat properly, you must plan your meals.

Many athletes use excuses such as “At work, I just don’t have access to good food,” or “I’m always so busy.” The list goes on and on. All of these problems can be solved through planning.

Bring a cooler to work or buy a small refrigerator. Cook up some chicken breasts and eat them throughout the day. Use meal replacement shakes—an easy, low-preparation way to eat well at work.

Or use workout bars as an occasional meal when time is tight. The options are numer-ous if you take the time to plan.

4. If you have not already done so, buy a measuring cup and a scale. You will need to measure carbohydrate grams, protein grams, and fat grams.

This is tedious and time consuming. You will need to use to find the values for each food. If you are preparing for a contest, you need to weigh your food!



My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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